This week we’re looking at the 2012 Dodge Journey Crew SUV. You know, years ago, just like the junk that came out of Japan, Mexico wasn’t the first choice for any product either. Ok, so Sarape’s, Leather Sandals and Wrought Iron stuff and oh yea, upholstery were things you might consider buying from south of the boarder of California. As young teens we’d go across toMexico to go surfing, snorkeling and visit the shops on the main drag of Tijuana, and some even went to the houses of ill repute. Some of us got close but were able to avoid the pitfalls of stupid youth. Perhaps avoiding meant we were ‘chicken’ . . . thankfully.
Well, Surprise! – today Japan produces first class stuff and the world auto industry has moved much of its production to Mexico including many car makers. Toyota has a large plant in Tacate,next to Tijuana and Dodge, VW and other car companies have chosen Mexico for assembling their cars. Even Daimler Trucks moved its Freightliner manufacturing from Portland, Oregon to Mexico. Go figure.
Parts content – US/ Canadian 36%, Mexico 55%; Engine – Mexico, Transmission – USA. It is assembled in Toluca, Mexico. Classification is SUV. Cars from Dodge: Avenger, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Nitro and Viper.
Handling & Performance:
Powerful V6 that is responsive and quick. Great size SUV for easy handling around town while providing seating for 7.
Average in appearance. This is a segment of the market that is so popular that most will not stray too far from current accepted designs that are selling. But as the name designation implies it is a sport UTILITY vehicle where practicality is the most important reason for its popularity.
Fit and Finish:
Very good. I get excited about how well Chrysler products are put together in today’s world. I used to drive mom’s Chrysler when I was a teenager. In those days it was commonly known the brand literally would fall apart. That is simply not true today as the company has survived the early days when most cars (the big three is all there was then) were thrown together haphazardly. Ford and GM were a cut above. Fortunately for Chrysler that hasn’t been true for many years now. But like all car makers who have evolved, the improvement comes from advances in technology. But in the case of Chrysler, the influence of Daimler Mercedes was hugely positive in the transformation that took the company beyond just better. Daimler left its mark forever.
And of course you can’t say all of that without recognizing Lee Iacocca’s influence in 1979 when he became CEO.
The 2012 Dodge Journey is offered in five trim levels: American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT, Crew and R/T. The new Journey AVP is offered at a starting U.S. MSRP of $18,995 or with 7-passenger seating at $19,990. Black leather with red accent stitching is standard on R/T. A Rear Seat Video Group with second-row DVD player, 9-inch video screen and six premium speakers is available on Crew and R/T.
Conveniences and comfort:
Comfortable seating for 7 in a midsized SUV. The seats fold down nicely for adding additional cargo space when needed.
No one should talk on a cell phone without hands free capability. One measure of this feature in today’s cars and trucks is how easy it is to set up, and that it connects automatically when you get into the car. This was easy to set up and use.
Visors are well designed and sturdy and block the glare perfectly. I also appreciated the large screen display for Nav and back up camera.
Consumer reviews seem to agree that this Dodge Journey is worthy of your consideration. In my week of testing I agree with those consumer opinions and it is competitively priced in this 4- wheel drive configured list of SUV’s. This is a tough field to pick just one. . . but then you don’t have to stay married forever if you don’t like it any longer. But I guarantee you will find little to complain about (especially during the honeymoon years).
Dodge Journey $28,000, Ford Edge $33,000, Honda Crosstour $35,000, Nissan Murano $32,000, Toyota Highlander $31,000, Chevrolet Equinox $29,000, Mazda CX-7 $34,000, Ford Escape $27,000, Honda Pilot $38,000, Hyundai Veracruz $30,000, Jeep Liberty $28,000, Kia Sportage $25,000, Mitsubishi Endeavor $34,000, Nissan Xterra $28,000, Subaru Outback $28,000, Subaru Tribeca $31,000, Toyota RAV-4 $26,000, Toyota Venza $31,000, Volkswagen Tiguan $32,000.
Well priced in class, huge list of standard equipment, good fuel economy for a 7 seat SUV.
3.6 liter V-6 283 horsepower engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, front side and side curtain airbags all rows, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, traction control, remote start, cruise control, Electronic stability control, remote go with proximity keyless entry, security alarm, climate control, 6-way power driver seat, tilt & telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, power windows & locks, passenger fold flat front seat, 2nd row 60/40 split fold down seats with under seat storage, rear reclining folding seats for 7 seating, Sirius XM satellite radio with 6 Infinity speakers with subwoofers / 368 watt amplifier, Uconnect voice command Bluetooth, 12V front and rear outlets, 115 V Aux power outlet, tire pressure monitor, 19” painted aluminum wheels, fog lights, heated power mirrors and auto headlights.
$3.89/ Gal avg. June 11, 2012
For more information.
17 City and Highway 25 MPG
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